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Dover Beach Essay

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In the poem "Dover Beach",witten in 1867 Matthew Arnold creates the mood of the poem through the usage of different types of imagery. He uses a dramatic plot in the form of a soliloquy. Arnold also uses descriptive adjectives, similes and metaphors to create the mood. Through the use of these literary elements, Arnold portrays the man standing before the window pondering the sound of the pebbles tossing in the waves as representation of human suffering. The man arrives at the vision of humanity being helpless against nature. Arnold creates the mood by suggesting mental pictures, actions, sights and sounds the man sees. Some examples are "folds of a bright girdle furled", "lie before us like a land of dreams"…show more content…
In the second part of the poem, Arnold uses the same method of writing, however he speaks of human history to further support the mood of the "Sea of Faith" and it's "eternal sadness". Arnold writes of Sophocles hearing the "eternal sadness" on "the Aegean" with it's "turbid ebb and flow". This appeals to the sense of hearing and causes the reader to almost hear powerful waves crashing to the land below. Sophocles saw the waves as sounds of "human misery". Arnold is portraying the parallel thought between the speaker's feelings and Sophocles same sadness over the changing of the land. The metaphor of the tides and the sea is suggested by the sounds and view of the speaker's window, but Arnold uses Sophocles as another example of nature's strength over the entire world. Arnold uses this to illustrate the speaker's despair and helplessness over his situation. Arnold uses this writing to exhibit the conflict between the land and the sea, and how more than just land suffers from the destruction. Arnold wants to show how deep the speaker's emotions run for his home.
In the third stanza, Arnold uses imagery and metaphors to depict the setting, which further set the mood of the poem. The first three lines portray and insinuate prospects of a visual image. The last five lines appeal to the auditory sense in the form of despair. In the first part of the stanza, Arnold characterizes the sea as divine.
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